United Thank Offering Webinars

May 17: Gratitude + Mental Health

May 17 at 12:00pm ET

Several studies have shown that gratitude can improve physical health—lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, strengthening the immune system, and improving sleep—but did you know that practicing gratitude also affects mental health in very meaningful ways? Join UTO Board President, Sherri Dietrich, as she hosts a panel of women who will discuss the importance of gratitude and mental health and share their knowledge of how gratitude affects mental health in hospitals, in addiction recovery, in senior care facilities, and in individuals engaging in coaching, leadership development, or spiritual direction. Please join us to learn about how gratitude can improve your life and the lives of the people you interact with each day.

Meet the Panel

The Rev. Sarah Ciavarri (she/her), M.Div., BCC, PCC, CDTLF, loves seeing people get excited about their lives and futures. Sarah is a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator, a Board Certified Chaplain, a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation and is always seeking new adventures in service. For ten years Sarah has traveled nationally keynoting and facilitating workshops on resilience, vulnerability, and shame. She has received numerous grants recognizing her work exploring shame and vulnerability in non-profit contexts. Sarah is the author of Find Our Way to Truth: Seven Lies Leaders Believe and How to Let Them Go. Sarah is Vice President of Spiritual Life for Cassia and is a graduate of Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN where she was a Presidential Scholar.

The Rev. Dr. Marta Illueca (she/her) graduated from the University of Panamá’s School of Medicine and specialized in Pediatric Gastroenterology at Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York, where she joined their faculty until 2003. She then worked for the pharmaceutical industry in Delaware until 2014. Rev. Marta is a graduate from Berkeley Divinity School, the Episcopal Seminary at Yale University and was ordained to the Episcopal Church priesthood in 2019. By supplementing her theological training with a degree in Pain Research, Education and Policy from Tufts Medical School, she is developing innovative programs for physicians and clergy on the spiritual dimensions of healing, including work on a recently published clinical definition of spiritual pain. In addition, she is the co-creator of the scientifically validated Pain-Related PRAYER Scale (PPRAYERS) in collaboration with experts from major academic centers and the lead for the Episcopal Church in Delaware Diocese’s Pain and Prayer Project. The latter project received seed funding from the 2020 United Thank Offering Grant awarded to the Diocese of Delaware. Rev. Marta’s work is currently expanding into the Hispanic/Latino space in the U.S. and Latin America through collaborations with regional chapters of IASP as well as medical and patient-directed societies and universitiesin that region. Rev. Marta is also an active lecturer with the University of Panamá’s School of Medicine and a COVID educator and advisor to the government of the Republic of Panamá.

The Rev. Erin Jean Warde (she/her) is an Episcopal priest, spiritual director, recovery coach, and writer. She is the author of Sober Spirituality: The Joy of a Mindful Relationship with Alcohol. She offers a course, Discerning Sobriety, which helps participants bring spiritual practices and mindfulness into their relationship with alcohol. She is a Certified Daring Way Facilitator, so she incorporates the research of Brene Brown in the many facets of her work. You can explore her offerings around coaching, spiritual direction, and more at www.erinjeanwarde.com. You can explore her Substack, Gather the Inklings, which includes free weekly posts and a community. In her free time you can find her watching comedy, thrift or vintage shopping, making new friends, and hanging out with her cats.

Moderator: Sherri Dietrich (she/her) serves as the Board President of UTO. Sherri lives gratefully in Maine with her wife, cats, chickens, and gardens. Her “day job” is indexing and editing books, so she basically gets paid to read books every day. She is a firm believer in the power of gratitude to change lives and the world, and is dedicated to spreading the ministry of gratitude throughout the church.

Past Webinars

Becoming Beloved Community from an Indigenous Perspective

The Indigenous Ministries Office and the United Thank Offering invite you to kick-off Indigenous People’s Month with an opportunity to learn about what it means to be the Beloved Community from an Indigenous perspective. Panelists will each share about their ministries which help to reconnect Indigenous practices within Indigenous communities or those which restore Indigenous practices on lands where Indigenous people were forcibly dislocated. (Several will share how UTO grants supported them in this work.) They will share stories and discuss how all of creation is connected and through reconnecting humans to creation we can heal historical, environmental, and personal trauma. 

The Evolving Role of Women in The Episcopal Church